Summer Fun in Sedona, AZ

Enjoying the Summer Time in Sedona, AZ

By: Lisa Peters

Visiting Sedona, Arizona anytime of the year is fun, but for me, I love spending summertime with my family and friends in the red rocks of Sedona! Yes, it can get hot in the afternoon but summer is the perfect time for early morning hikes and beautiful sunset hikes. It is also a great time to enjoy the natural water slide at Slide Rock State Park, visit the wildlife at Out of Africa Wildlife Park, explore the red rocks in a Pink Jeep, and in the heat of the day I will often catch a unique film at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre.

As for the occasional storm that pops up, I rejoice in them, the red rocks get a good washing, making them even more beautiful, seeing the lightning in the red rocks is mind blowing, and the rainbows that are produced from the storms can’t be beat! Every now and then you will get a double rainbow arching over coffee pot rock which is just beautiful! And remember this is high dessert, rain is welcome and needed so we celebrate it! When a storm does come along it usually doesn’t last long and is followed by beauty.

Soldiers Pass Trail and Bell Rock Pathway are always high on my list for a sunset hike, especially for taking some amazing shots as the sun sets and light dances across the rocks. I know the exercise is important, but I have to admit sometimes I take more pictures than I put miles on my hiking boots! And sometime it is just too beautiful to photograph, you just have to stand there and soak it in. I also love taking my friends and family up to the airport mesa to take in the panoramic view of Sedona as the sun starts going down. As for early morning hikes, anywhere you like! I do prefer taking strolls instead of hikes in the morning, with that said my family enjoys the early morning bird walks at Red Rock State Park. However I have been know to take a morning hike at West Fork Trail, once you get past the trail-head there is plenty of shade, and if feels pretty chilly there in the morning. I would advise dressing in layers on the cooler mornings.

What about the heat of the day? The thing about Sedona and the Verde Valley is during the summer you never really know whether it’s going to be hot and sunny or whether an afternoon storm will move in! I like it both ways. On the warmer days there are a handful of fun things we like to do as a family. Out of Africa Wildlife Park, located in Camp Verde, AZ, is usually first on our list. We get there as soon as the park opens, the adults and kids in the family always have a good time visiting the wildlife. My niece is particularly fond of the park and I don’t think she could handle a visit without seeing one of the parks most popular attractions “Tiger Splash”! (of course her favorite animal in the park is the White Bengal Tiger, Chalet) I have many favorites there too, but if I had to pick, well I don’t have to pick, so I will say all of them!

When you’re looking for a day of family fun and a break from the Arizona heat, Slide Rock State Park is the place for you! Slide Rock State Park, originally the Pendley Homestead, is a 43-acre historic apple farm located in beautiful Oak Creek Canyon. Visitors to the park can slide down a slick natural water chute or wade and sun along the creek. They also have fifteen open air picnic tables, making it a perfect spot for a summer family fun day!

The state-of-the-art Mary D. Fisher Theatre is also a great place to cool off during the heat of the day. The Sedona International Film Festival brings great independent films and live events to this venue all year long! From Art & Architecture in Cinema, to Shakespeare Live on the big screen, to inspirational film and thought provoking documentaries, there is always something interesting to watch.

Another place I love to cool down is in the Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village. Known as the “Art and Soul of Sedona” Tlaquepaque’s courtyards are beautiful, the galleries are extraordinary, and the shade offered by the magnificent sycamores is very welcome on a hot day! Tlaquepaque is one of my very favorite places to bring my mom. She goes goggle eyed in the galleries, some of the art in the village is just breathtaking and we always find something for her to take home as a reminder of her visit.

Pink Jeep Tours into the red rocks are also popular during the summer. Our favorite would have to be the “Broken Arrow Tour” from Pink Jeep. That never gets old. I could take that tour every week and be just as excited every time. Some of my other favorites offered by Pink Jeep are the Sedona Vortex Tour and the Scenic Rim Tour.

I hope everyone has a great summer filled with friends, family and good times. If you are going to be visiting Sedona this summer I highly suggest taking a moment to check out the vacation packages at the Inn of Sedona, and for the spur of the moment getaways check out this Summer in Sedona Hotel Special.



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